It's not really a race, more like a "fun run," but I'm pretty sure I ran the fastest mile of my life while I was scampering after Santa last night.
Every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving Appleton has it's Christmas parade. And before the parade is the Santa Scamper, a one-mile fun run down the parade route past all of the people who are bundled up and waiting for the parade to start and Santa to come down the street.
And the weather Tuesday? It was definitely the kind that the jolly old elf who lives at the North Pole likes: Cold. Windy. And did I mention cold?
The Santa Scamper didn't start until 6 p.m., and even though my Mom had set out our chairs earlier that morning, she still wanted to head down fairly early to get a somewhat decent parking spot. I talked her into 4:30. That was still an hour and a half waiting in the cold to run a mile. And sitting in the 22 degree weather with bone chilling cold, steady, winds was harsh. I admit, at one point I grabbed her keys and went and sat in the car for a bit. What can I say, I didn't have the luxury of wearing my boots and long underwear!
Eventually about 20 minutes before the Santa Scamper my brother, his wife and their kids showed up and we took off for the starting line. We got in a bit of a warm up run when we were still 2 blocks from the starting line and heard what we thought was the announcer telling the runners to get ready. A bit of pre-Scamper "Jump Around" and we were set to run.
I was lined up with my brother next to a man holding a neon yellow sign indicating the 6 minute mile pace. Umm, yeah. Not me. My brother laughed. We stayed put. Turns out it didn't matter since there were a bunch of little kids and walkers I had to dodge during the first block or so.
I kept a pretty decent pace though. Handed out some high fives when I ran past my Mom and The Rugrats. Was booking it as I ran downhill and stayed strong during the final quarter-mile straight away before taking a slight uphill to the finish line.
I crossed the line. Hit stop on my Garmin and glanced down at my time.
8 minutes, 56 seconds.
Huh? There must be something wrong. Maybe it wasn't a full mile. Nope. The distance read 1.0. I just ran a sub-9 minute mile. That's unheard of for me. On a good day I can clock a 9 minute, 30 second mile, but I can't remember ever running a sub-9 minute.
Needless to say, even though I didn't find Santa, I was pretty darn happy with that Santa Scamper result.